How Can I Attract and Retain Talent?

Introduction

One of the biggest challenges today’s employers face is attracting and retaining talent. The old strategies – offering them a better pay check can only take you so far.

Millennials have already taken the workplace by storm. Generation Z is also starting to appear in workplaces all over the world. They are the top talent in every field and, as an employer, you need to know what makes them tick (read: work for you happily).

One of the values that has been most often associated with Millennials is freedom. They are not fans of fixed schedules and fixed desks.

Even here there is an internet connection these days

Luckily, technological advancements allow employees to work from anywhere when their tasks only require a computer, internet connection and/or a phone. Similarly, when in office, they like to be able to choose whether they work all alone or in a group.

But is your office set-up ready to accommodate these needs?

Agile working and activity-based working are core values that today’s employees are looking for. They are both closely related to flexibility. Choosing when and where one works helps your employees stay happy and productive.

For you, the employer, they come with undeniable benefits: happy employees stay with you. We all know how much a high turnover rate can cost the company. Better yet, happy employees are productive. They are ready to innovate and help you reach your goals.

Now the only thing left to do is get your office ready to keep employees happy.

Aside from unparalleled flexibility, new office set-ups also have to account for workers’ love of nature and for their interest in well-being. You need to show your staff that you care about them as individuals. Recreation rooms, game rooms, fully stocked kitchens and healthy meals and snacks are just a few of the things that can make you a preferred employer.

What Are The Best Strategies To Attract And Retain Talent?

It is hard to get skillful employees and retain them. And global mobility has made it harder than ever. In the face of new challenges and a major culture change between generations of employees, how can your talent retention department stay productive?

Companies are now investing heavily in educating and improving their employees’ skill sets all in an effort to attract and retain them.

This can be expensive in the long run, and chances are that once they’ve gained the skills, they will start looking for jobs with better pay.

Competing companies will also “poach” employees if they’ve got the skills they need.

Google went through this in 2015 when more than 100 of their workers were poached by Uber and Airbnb. The poaching was not confined to only their best engineers, they even poached two of their chefs!

Should you consider this a lost battle from the get-go and settle for a huge turnover rate? If it happened to Google, who’s safe from it?

Well, you can be. You don’t need to cover the costs of turnover if you can retain your best talent.

A company that wants to thrive has to invest in both the attraction and retention of its employees. This means that they have to keep up with the changing demands and needs of their staff members.

The most significant change has greatly been driven by the Millennial generation (born between 1975 and 1995) and Gen Z/ iGen (born after 1996). These two generations are more tech-savvy and creative. They also have very different requirements from what their predecessors needed.

They want work conditions that are flexible, collaborative, and they need new technologies so they can stay productive.

According to recent research, three-quarters of the workforce will be comprised of millennials by 2025. With Gen Z not far behind, you can’t afford to ignore their demands.

So let’s get to the point:

What are the best strategies to attract and retain talent?

There are some practical steps that you can take to ensure you attract and retain the best talent in your company. These include:

1. Encourage Collaboration

Are your employees able to work as a team? Collaboration encourages effectiveness, responsibility and improves motivation.

When they work together, your employees can brainstorm issues and get different perspectives on any task. Better yet, when you encourage collaboration, every member gets equal opportunities for communicating and participating. This means that each of your employees feels valued.

Collaboration has many benefits including:

  • Helps people learn their strengths and weaknesses and work on them

  • Helps in speeding up the problem-solving process

  • Working with people from different backgrounds and with expertise levels helps every employee get a 360-degree view on any issue

  • Employees learn from each other and therefore develop their skills

  • Employees share their talents and therefore get the best solution for every issue

  • Productivity and efficiency are enhanced

Design and build is teamwork

More importantly, collaboration boosts loyalty. Millennials and Gen Z employees don’t get attached to paychecks and work security. They get attached to people and common goals. Collaboration encourages this kind of attachment.

2. Make the Workplace Flexible

The Millennials and the iGen generation have grown up with smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They have a blurred view of the strict rules that govern what a workplace is and what a home environment is. They also need to feel as free as possible. This includes flexible hours and flexible work locations.

This is why it’s wise to give them the option to choose where and how they work.

Technology has advanced over the years and now employees can work from anywhere. All this has been made possible thanks to fast and reliable internet connections that are omnipresent – in the office, in their home, even on their favourite beach and their favourite café.

One of the perks when visiting one of Amos Beech’s suppliers

Employees should have the opportunity to choose their work environment depending on their current needs. When you give employees freedom, they feel valued and trusted. This leads to an increase in productivity and accountability.

The office space per worker is expected to continue dropping due to an increase in team-oriented and collaborative space for companies going for the smarter, but smaller workplace.

What this means for employers is that they should reclaim any unused space and use it to create diverse work environments. This will allow employees a flexibility in how they engage, create, work, and think. All in the name of driving performance and innovation.

3. Get Rid of Silos

Traditional offices had a hierarchy. You could clearly see who’s who by the offices they were in. Top management always had private offices, while the majority of employees worked in cubicles divided by departments.

Needless to say, this did not encourage communication either between executives and employees or between departments.

The new workplaces have brought down the walls and encouraged openness. This means that upper management can access great ideas from employees and that employees are able to easily access top management. And, of course, that the dreaded matchbox-sized cubicles are gone.

This fosters professional bonds, empowers everyone at the company, and engages everyone. Both the younger and older employees can learn from each other.

4. Create a Happy Work Environment

If you have the cash, you can purchase equipment for a game room, right? But this is not what making a happy environment for employees is all about. Sorry to say, but it’s not that easy.

It’s about creating a happy culture within your workforce and bringing in a sense of community. In order to create the perfect work environment, you need the right office fit out. It is, therefore, advisable that you engage the services of a workplace consultancy.

Still, there are a few things that you should know before calling in the professionals. According to research, natural elements and plants are productivity and well-being boosters. Exposure to natural elements decreases levels of depression, blood pressure, and anxiety. They increase the attention capacity of employees and their psychological well-being.

The outdoors brought in @ Clark Thomson

This means that every organization intent on having a productive workforce has to bring the outdoors in. This can be done by:

  • Having a green office

  • Using natural materials like wood or stone for the interior décor

  • Having large windows that bring in natural light. You can also use skylights.

  • For the meeting room, you can turn one of the walls green. A green wall makes for refreshing conversations.

5. Adopt an Activity-Based Workplace

Employees are different. Each individual is most productive in a different environment. An activity-based office set-up allows individuals to work in an environment of their choice.

They can find a quiet place if they need to be alone to focus on a complicated problem. They can use the open space to engage with their colleagues or draw from their energy. They can use the conference room to speak to their colleagues at your overseas headquarters.

Allow employees to work where they feel best and watch their best work get done easier and faster.

6. Create Designated Break Spaces

Show your employees that you also care about their well-being and workplace happiness, not just their productivity. A coffee room and a cafeteria are basic needs.

Break out areas @ ST Microelectronics

Go beyond them and add a library, an outdoor garden, a game room or any other room that your staff would love. Don’t worry – they won’t waste precious time here. They will get a chance to unwind and become even more productive and happy with their workplace.

Attracting and Retaining Employees through Office Design

Office design contributes to whether employees want to work at an organisation or leave. It’s good to be practical, though, and choose a design that suits an organisation’s needs. Not every office can benefit from a pool table, for example.

According to the Harvard Business Review, you should design your office to cater to four types of employees:

  • The logical, analytical and data-oriented

  • The supportive, emotional and expressive

  • The organized, detail-oriented and plan-focused

  • The strategic, idea-oriented and integrative.

Each of these employee types has their negatives and positives traits. The trick is to have a combination of office design styles that cater to all of them. For productivity, have quiet rooms and collaborative spaces. The office environment should enhance all these working styles while still allowing the employee to have some downtime.

Humans are sensitive to the environment they are in and will always look for a comfortable, secure and positive environment for productivity. This can mean different things to different people. When we have no control over our environment, we get irritated easily and we can’t wait to leave the place that puts us in a bad mood.

So, what are the best strategies for attracting and retaining talent through office design? Let’s take a look!

1. The Agile Workplace Design

An agile workplace optimizes space. There is no dedicated workstation for each employee -- everyone shares spaces as needed. This is a great advantage for organisations since almost 50 percent of space is unused on any given day. The organisation can optimise this space and reduce costs.

The agile working environment can be implemented together with the activity based working one. Activity-based design allows employees to choose their space depending on their tasks. This encourages productivity, collaboration, and efficiency. These working environments allow employees to think creatively and get innovative.

 iotspot is a  smart office app  that empowers, connects and assists employees in the modern, agile and activity based workplace

iotspot is a smart office app that empowers, connects and assists employees in the modern, agile and activity based workplace

An agile working environment has different spaces including:

  • Collaborations spaces

  • Focus spaces

  • Meeting places

  • Relaxation spaces

  • Phone calling spaces

  • Inspirational spaces

  • Concentration spaces

The agile working environment needs to be inclusive. It should cater to the four employee types mentioned earlier.

2. The Environment Focused on Workplace Wellbeing

The wellbeing of employees is crucial. Workplace wellbeing leads to a workforce that is healthy in mind, spirit, and body. You can improve or boost your employees’ wellbeing by:

  • Adopting ergonomic furniture to boost their physical health

  • Find a way to sort out temperatures in the office so that everyone feels comfy

  • Have bright colours in the office

  • Contribute to your employees’ health and fitness by having a gym in the office or by offering to gym memberships. Encourage staff to cycle to work and offer healthy food options.

  • Have a convenient and comfortable break room for employees to chill in

  • Provide paid time off

  • Get some comfy armchairs and sofas for the rest or lounge room

  • Equip the break room with water, coffee, toaster, and microwave (at a minimum)

  • Put together incentive programs for motivation and appreciation

  • Assist ill employees or those who have undergone traumatizing events in any way you can.

Incorporating these wellbeing activities keeps employees happy and motivated. You have to, however, first understand what your employees want.

Not sure how to do that efficiently? Have a workplace consultancy firm conduct a staff survey, then help you implement their suggestions into the office design.

3. Redesign Your Office for the Instagram World

According to Wall Street, this is what most businesses are doing. In pursuit of a good workforce, companies are making sure that other people know how much fun their employees are having at work.

They are creating offices that employees and visitors want to explore. These visitors and employees get so intrigued that they share their experiences with their followers on Instagram and other social media sites.

This strengthens the company’s presence on social media while highlighting their culture and exciting work environment. The benefits you can yield from this are unparalleled:

  • You can attract younger more vibrant talent

  • You can promote your brand with 0 costs

  • You can retain employees and make them excited about working in these companies

LinkedIn and Buzzfeed are some of the companies that have adopted this idea (and it’s worked out great for them!)

Conclusion

How you design your office is an important strategy for attracting and retaining talent. A cleverly designed office keeps employees happy, motivated, effective, and productive. The more comfortable employees are at work, the more they will collaborate, increase customer satisfaction, get innovative and improve the company culture.

To attract and retain top talent, companies have to create attractive work environments through their office design. These environments should make the employees comfortable physically and mentally.

A big part of talent attraction is making a good first impression at the interview. Design the office so that even those coming in for interviews get to see what it’s like to work there effortlessly.

A well-designed office will retain employees by providing spaces for both work and leisure. This improves the work-life balance and reduces stress levels.

Before you can embark on an office design project, get professional help. Workplace consultancy can help you understand what your employees want and need and how you can create that design without breaking the bank.